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Top Fitness Trends of 2020

21 January, 2020
Older adults using fitness gadgets

Fitness fads come and go (remember sauna suits and vibrating belts?) but this year’s top fitness trends look to be keepers. Thousands of fitness professionals from around the world are surveyed every year by the American College of Sports Medicine. These are the trends they think we’ll see in 2020.

1. Wearable technology

Taking the top slot again are all those fitness trackers, smart watches, heart monitors and GPS trackers that now make up a $95 billion industry. Wearable tech can supply a host of stats about your health and fitness, plus track your progress to help keep you motivated. If you want to get ahead of the curve, try ‘connected clothing.’ Best of luck with that fad though. We’re not sure we want our fitness pants to vibrate.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Short bursts of high intensity exercise may help you lose weight and body fat faster than traditional exercise routines. High-Intensity Interval Training – HIIT – is changing the way we work out. Aim for three sessions of HIIT (vigorous activity) a week that last between 15-20 minutes and you’ll be well on your way to meeting the recommended Australian weekly physical activity guidelines for adults. Try these apps that squeeze your HIIT training into a mere seven minutes. You could even try a micro-burst while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil!

3. Group Training

It’s no surprise to see this one on the list. Large classes can give you a buzz of energy, help you stay motivated and feel part of a team. You can also hide at the back if you’re not feeling sociable. There’s something to suit everyone, from peaceful yoga, super-fast spin, high octane dance or full-on boot camps. Be wary of anything labelled Insanity, Extreme or Beast.  Extra safety precautions need to be taken with activities that push you beyond your comfort zone and into injury territory. 

4. Training with free weights

Free weights are barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or even bags of sand you can strap to your arms and legs. Training with free weights is a growing trend, and it’s not just for men. There are significant health benefits too like improving blood glucose levels through to reducing body fat levels and strengthening bones. Most gyms have a selection of free weights and a staff member on hand who can show you how to use them safely. You can also develop a routine at home but make sure you follow appropriate guidelines.

5. Personal training

Celebs and elite sports people have used them forever and now the rest of us are waking up to the benefits of using a personal trainer. An experienced personal trainer can tailor a program to suit your exact needs and help you reach your goal by reducing the risk of injury and increasing the effectiveness of your fitness regime. They’re there to support, challenge and encourage you, helping you achieve maximum results. Downsides? They might occasionally shout at you.

6. Exercise as medicine

"Eating alone will not keep a man well,
he must also take exercise." 

The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, wrote the first  ‘prescription’ for a patient to take exercise almost two and a half thousand years ago. Fitness Australia sees this as our top trend in 2020, so  expect to see more doctors prescribing exercise to combat a range of health challenges. It’s not just your physical health that benefits from exercise, your mental health can too. Doctors also recommend tailored exercise programs for cancer patients.

7. Body weight training

That body you’re carrying around all day has its own built-in gym. Who needs weights when you can use your own? Check out these top three body weight exercises you can do without any equipment. This is back to basics fitness that anyone can try at home and it doesn’t cost a cent. No fees, no gear, no excuses. No activewear? Just draw the curtains!

8. Fitness programs for older adults

Here’s looking at you, baby boomers. Age-appropriate fitness programs, many of them tailored for people in retirement homes, are growing in popularity. Such programs help keep older people fit, healthy and agile. The importance of exercise as we age is increasingly being recognised. It helps reduce falls, increase strength and mobility, improve balance and maintain independence. We’re living longer, so let’s live healthier too.

9. Health/wellness coaching

The growth in health and wellness coaching supports the idea that prevention is better than cure. It’s all about changing your behaviour and achieving your goals. Health and wellness focusses on your whole life, from fitness, diet and nutrition to physical, spiritual and mental health. But you really don’t need a personal coach for that. Check out our comprehensive range of free health and wellbeing tools and services for eligible members.

 10. Walk the talk

Hmmm… it’s possible that all those certified fitness professionals had an eye on the bottom line when they said number ten was ‘employing a certified fitness professional.’ Our pick for the number ten trend is walking. Suitable for any age and any level of fitness, walking has multiple benefits. If your walk takes your through a park, so much the better. You can slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the benefits of green exercise.


Disclaimer: All information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The information provided should not be relied upon as medical advice and does not supersede or replace a consultation with a suitably qualified healthcare professional.


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